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Personal Credit Report, what say you??? Thank you..............

edited January 2017 in Off-Topic
Morn'in to you,

From the FTC site link below: "You're entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order online from, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity."

What about the CreditKarma one finds advertised in paper and at TV? Is this a valid site without fees, etc.?

Below link: the site, cited by FTC; to use for a "free" credit report.

Any comments, concerns and experiences to report?

Thank you.


  • I have been using the CreditKarma site for nearly 2 years now with nary a problem. Once a month I get an email to check my score but that's it. Once or twice I've been notified that an entity has pulled my report (a 'hard hit' in industry parlance) and that was nice to know. I had been screening possible mortgage lenders so it was expected.
  • Hi @Mark
    Thank you for your personal experience details.
    I should have placed the CreditKarma link within my first post. This explains how their "free" to use business model expects to operate.
  • edited January 2017
    Everything said at the Investopedia site is true. Suggestions are made and 'bonus' you are not bombarded by an endless series of pop-ups, flashes, or whatever. I also appreciate knowing why and how certain things affect one's score. I'll never understand why dropping some rinkydink store branded credit card is a bad thing but apparently it has an effect that takes years to go away.

    Edited to add: two of the primary things I ask/demand from websites I frequent, be they business or just personal, are to not carpet bomb me with all manner of pop-ups and don't flood my email in box with exciting new offers just for me. CK has never done either.
  • Mark , with your post I decided to give CreditKarma a try. It was very easy to register and it is a nice site. I sent the investopedia to my son for him to think about. He said "I've been using it for a while now". I'm always a step behind that kid:)
  • edited January 2017
    Related trivia: I've heard people talk about their "credit score" for years; I never knew what mine was until last month when I bought a new truck (I'm 66). The lady at the credit union said it was 800-something. I had no clue if that was good or bad, so she told me it was good.

    I had always assumed it had to be good, because I live below my means and have never paid anything late in my life. The only way it couldn't be good is if there was something fishy going on that I didn't know about.

    I guess that's the main reason people check theirs . . . ?
  • Does anyone think credit monitoring services such as Lifelock are worthwhile?
  • @Low_Tech - in my case everything you said is true and like you I've never been late with a payment and I live below my means. However, most if not all of what you and I pay for by borrowing is affected by our credit score including our ability to even get credit extended to us. Where I live that credit score even affects what I pay for my insurance premiums which of course I don't borrow money to pay. Go figure. So yes, I like to be aware of what's going on.
  • Some people I know who own property as joint tenants recently switched the primary name on their insurance policy from one person to another. Instead of the rate for the next year going up by 5% or so, it dropped by around 20%. (I forget the exact numbers, but it was a sizeable swing, something of that magnitude.) There wasn't even that big a difference in credit scores - just enough to matter.

    ISTM that credit scores might, just barely might, make some sense with auto insurance, since credit score might correlate (slightly) with responsibility which might correlate (slightly) with careful driving. But any connection between credit scores and risk to real property seems beyond that long stretch.

    If there are studies around that show otherwise, they'd be interesting to read.
  • Thanks Mark.
  • @msf - as the insurance rep explained it to me they use the same rationale for auto and property i.e. your credit score correlates (slightly) with responsibility which might correlate (slightly) with careful management and upkeep of your property and extending to the likelihood of you filing a claim or claims for damage.

    Now you made me look at just what factors my insurance company looks at when determining my auto and home insurance rates. They include in no particular order:
    - credit score or worthiness including whether or not you you even have enough data for a credit score
    - age, sex
    - level of education
    - length of time accounts established
    - number of bank/national revolving/open accounts
    - claims history

    To what extent any of these factor into the premium one pays is anybody's guess.
  • I use Erie , & last year they forbid use of credit cards for payment. Go figure.
  • @Mark - I appreciate the relationship between careful property management and risk. I just think that it's insignificant compared with auto risks.

    If you're negligent with a car (e.g. failing to maintain brakes), or you're reckless in driving, you're hugely increasing the risk of an accident. On the other hand, if you let your grass grow for a month, the likelihood of someone tripping over the long blades and suing you doesn't go up too much.

    Sure, that's a bit facetious, but you get the point. Cars seem inherently more dangerous. They are directly controlled (you're not going to drive a house into the lake next door) and lack of maintenance can have a much greater effect on the odds of something bad happening with a car than with a house.

    Just my uninformed opinion. I haven't researched property liability risks, like Santa getting stuck in an uncleaned chimney. Though failing to clean a chimney would seem to increase fire risks.
  • @Mark and @msf

    This first 2014 link relates home owner insurance rates. Indicated pricing is of consequence relative to credit scores. Of note: I found this article and others stating the states of Mass., Hawaii, California and Maryland do not allow credit scoring for auto and home insurance rate sets, as this is deemed as a form of discrimination. Huh?
    Our home and auto policies both indicate a credit rating standard being used.

    General info regarding credit scoring and insurance rates, and why some states do not allow for this method.
  • "the states of Mass., Hawaii, California and Maryland do not allow credit scoring for auto and home insurance rate sets, as this is deemed as a form of discrimination. Huh?"

    @catch22- To decree that the homes of people with higher credit scores burn down less frequently than those with lower credit scores seems pretty tenuous to me.

    Likewise, if someone got caught in a financial situation which lowered their credit scores (and we all know that the credit-scoring folks never make errors, don't we?) does that automatically make them a poor driver? Leads me to wonder how many professional bus drivers and 18-wheeler jockeys have outstanding credit scores.

    So when these folks go to get insurance (which would seem to be a responsible thing to do) they should be penalized because their checking account at Wells Fargo (which they didn't know they had) was overdrawn?
  • edited January 2017
    Hi @Old_Joe
    I agree...........through no fault of their own (the worker); a business closes, all are in the street, eh.
    I witnessed much of this when the auto world of Michigan was crashing and burning during the last market melt.
    EDIT ADD: Gosh, how could I forget the mortgage banker/seller pimps who buried so many.
  • To decree that the homes of people with higher credit scores burn down less frequently than those with lower credit scores seems pretty tenuous to me.
    I don't think it has anything to do with claims for houses burning down or the # of accidents some one has. It's all about, can the insured pay their bill on time. The credit score helps determine that like any other continuous payment schedule. Not saying it's right or wrong. It's all about the insurance company getting their money.
  • @MikeM- Howdy! You might be right on that, we pay once yearly so that isn't so much of an issue. But I'm not sure... you pay in advance for the insurance, and if the company doesn't get the payment they will surely suspend or cancel the coverage, yes?

    That's certainly a nuisance for the company, but with the virtually complete computerization of the payment schedule I'd be surprised if it was much of an actual expense.
  • I agree with OJ - at best one may get a grace period (typically 30 days give or take), after which the insurance is cancelled. This can vary by insurer and state. Apparently in NC, "There is NO GRACE PERIOD for homeowners insurance."

    North Carolina Dept. of Insurance, A Consumer's Guide to Homeowner's Insurance
  • edited January 2017
    Decided to read a little about why. Seems my 1st thought of the higher credit insured being more reliable at making payments is not at the top of the list. You guys are correct. Basically, it is that people with good credit don't file (as many) claims. It still comes down to the insurance companies "insuring" they making more money though.

    from insurancescores:
    Your insurance score (also known as insurance credit score) is based in large part on your overall credit rating. This is because historical data reveals that there is a distinct correlation between one’s credit rating and the amount of insurance claims that they file... For example, statistically, a person who carries a lower credit score is much more likely to file insurance claims than an individual who possesses a higher credit score figure. Likewise, an individual who possesses what is considered a “perfect” insurance score is considered to have the lowest possible risk to the insurance company of filing a claim.

    ..."The insurer is looking to price the policy to reflect their risk," says Michael Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based trade group. "They've found that people who manage their finances well also manage other important aspects of their lives responsibly."

    ...Nationwide uses a credit-based insurance score when determining premiums. Studies show that using this score helps us better predict insurance losses. In fact, 92% of all insurers now consider credit when calculating auto insurance premiums
    ...But you might not know that car insurers are also rifling through your credit files to do something completely different: to predict the odds that you’ll file a claim.
  • Thanks Mike.
  • beebee
    edited January 2017
    Remember you are not necessarily insuring your property, but the mortgage that you have on the property.

    Most "home owners" might be better described as "mortgage owners". "Home owner's insurance" insures that the "mortgage owner" (the bank) is protected.
  • A mortgage can affect how much insurance you purchase (you won't get the mortgage unless you carry and continue to carry enough insurance). But it wouldn't seem to affect the rate for that insurance.

    The insurance company is looking at how much of a risk you represent to the insured property. To do that, it's trying to assess your general level of care. Admittedly you might tend to be slightly less careful in a property where you had only a minority stake.

    But not much - if you're a generally responsible person, you're not going to start dropping cigarette ashes all over the place simply because the bank "owns" a good chunk of it.

    FWIW, in the example I gave where credit scores had a sizeable impact, the home was owned free and clear. Also, Mark's list of rate factors didn't include secured debt (except implicitly in credit score).

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